Summary: Today's message looks at how we are to by faith expect God's best for our lives through the story of David and Goliath, and how we can by faith expect God's best through tuning into God, thinking on God's promises, and trusting in God's love.
“Expecting God’s Best”
The Bible says, “Each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27 NLT)
So the question becomes, “How can we stand before a holy and righteous God after our death?” Is it by being better than we are bad? Is it by keeping the Ten Commandments? Is it by being religious and going to church?
To all these ways the answer is no. There’s only one way, and Jesus said that He is it. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
But to enter onto that path, and follow it throughout this life, takes faith.
The writer of Hebrews talks about the faith it takes quoting the Lord through the prophet Habakkuk (2:3-4).
“Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:38 NKJV)
And then he tells us the faith we need to please God throughout this life in Hebrews 11:6.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
Therefore, the only way to gain God’s approval is to live our lives by faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith is therefore an important issue, and it’s vital that we learn how to live and be strengthened by faith.
The first way we strengthen our faith is through God’s word, the Bible.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 NKJV)
Faith comes through our reading the Bible and allowing God to speak to us through it. So we might just call the Bible “faith food,” and the more we read and get into it, and allow it to get into us, the more our faith will grow and mature.
The unfortunate reality is that during these recent times people are turning to the Bible less, rather than more, and they are turning to it less than ever before. According to the American Bible Society in their newly released “State of the Bible” survey, they found fewer Americans (only 9%) are reading their Bibles daily.
The next way our faith is strengthen is when we pray asking Jesus to help and believing that’s exactly what He will do.
In Matthew 9 it says that two blind men came to Jesus asking for a healing, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this,” to which they replied, “Yes Lord.” And Jesus said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” (Matthew 9:29 NKJV)
Immediately their eyes were opened.
What Jesus said is that it was their choice to believe in Him or not. So what are we willing to believe God for. Are we willing to say, “Yes Lord” to Jesus.
But even in my bringing this out, it must be tempered with what the Apostle James said; “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NKJV)
Here, James conditions what we pray for. Not only does it hinge on our faith, but also on God’s glory. Are we asking to further God’s kingdom, or is it about what we want the way we want it?
We are to pray and have faith in God for all things in our lives. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 that we’re to be anxious for nothing, but with prayer and supplications with thanksgiving we’re let our requests be made known to God.
In 2 Corinthians 5:7, Paul tells us that we’re to walk by faith, not by sight. And as we’ve seen, the writer of Hebrews says that God rewards those who live by faith and diligently seek Him.
Now, when it comes to exactly what faith is, the writer of Hebrews gives us the best description of what faith looks, and the type of faith that pleases God.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)
Faith is then the assurance of those things we hope for and expect, because of the faithfulness of God, and it also convinces us of their reality even though we may not see them at the present time.
Faith is the key that unlocks the doors and windows of heaven as we saw last week in our message on how God meets our needs. It’s very important, therefore, that we grow, develop, and strengthen our faith, because faith is expecting God’s best for our lives.
Some object to this description, especially seeing how rotten life has become due to what we’re presently experiencing with the coronavirus pandemic, racial violence, and the economic devastation that is happening around the world, but God’s word says that He is at work even when times are tough turning them around for our ultimate good.